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Aaron Aunins, Ph.D.

Aaron is a Research Fish Biologist at the Eastern Ecological Science Center in Kearneysville, WV. 

Aaron Aunins obtained his Ph.D. in Integrative Life Sciences from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011, where he studied the population genetics of American shad in Chesapeake Bay. He began working at the USGS Leetown Science Center in 2012. Aaron’s research interests are very broad – he has worked on conservation genetic studies of many diverse taxa including brook trout, shortnose sturgeon, Atlantic sturgeon, and Northeastern Beach tiger beetles among others. More recently, he has been focused on environmental DNA (eDNA) studies and has worked on eDNA metabarcoding of stream communities in National Capital Region Parks, using eDNA metabarcoding to characterize deep sea communities along the mid-Atlantic U.S. coast, and optimizing methods for detection of pollinators from eDNA left on flowers.  

Professional Experience

  • 2019 to present – Research Fish Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center, Kearneysville, West Virginia

  • 2016 to 2019 – Scientist II (Contractor), Natural Systems Analysts, Winter Park Florida, work location at U.S. Geological Survey, Kearneysville, West Virginia

  • 2014-2016 – Genetics Biologist (Contractor), Cherokee Nation Technology Solutions, Tulsa OK, work location at U.S. Geological Survey, Kearneysville, West Virginia

Education and Certifications

  • 2011. PhD. in Integrative Life Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • 2006. M.S. in Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science of the College of William and Mary

  • 2001. B.A. in Biology, University of Richmond

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